CALGARY, AB – Steve Yzerman, Canada’s general manager for the 2008 IIHF World Championship, announced on Tuesday that Ken Hitchcock will be Canada’s head coach at the world championship, May 2nd to 18th in Quebec City, QC and Halifax, NS. Yzerman expects to name Hitchcock’s assistant coaches next week.
Hitchcock, who is in his second season as head coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, is no stranger to international competition – the 2008 IIHF World Championship will mark his sixth appearance with Hockey Canada.
The Edmonton, AB native served as an associate coach at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, and in the same role at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, winning the championship, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, winning the gold medal, and the 2002 IIHF World Championship. He was also an assistant coach with Canada’s gold medal-winning National Junior Team at the 1988 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“We are extremely excited that Ken will join us as head coach for the 2008 IIHF World Championship,” said Yzerman. “Ken’s wealth of international experience should prove to be a tremendous asset to our team as we go forward towards what we hope will be a gold medal on home ice.”
“Getting to be a part of Hockey Canada is a great honour, especially anytime you get to work with a Canadian team on home ice, in front of Canadian fans” said Hitchcock. “I am excited to work with Steve, Doug and Luc to work towards defending Canada’s world championship.”
Hitchcock has a career record of 470-311-117 in 12 seasons as a National Hockey League head coach with the Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars, and won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999. He also had a record of 291-115-15 with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League from 1984-1990, winning the WHL championship and appearing in the Memorial Cup with the Blazers in 19.
Canada’s coaching staff, along with Yzerman, assistant general managers Doug Armstrong and Luc Robitaille and Hockey Canada executive vice-president of hockey operations Johnny Misley, will work together to oversee Canada’s player evaluation and selection for the 2008 IIHF World Championship, which will be held in Canada for the first time.
Canada opens the 2008 IIHF World Championship on Friday, May 2nd against Slovenia at the Halifax Metro Centre. All of Canada’s games will be broadcast live by TSN/RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada. Games will also be broadcast on The FAN radio network. Check your local listings for more information.